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All Eyes on PRINT 13

September 9, 2013

Is this week’s big event a hit? InfoTrends’ Jim Hamilton offers insights.

PRINT 13 ExpoRecognized as the most expansive exhibition in the Americas of digital, inkjet, offset, flexo and hybrid technologies, products and services, PRINT 13 offers an exciting show-going experience this week in Chicago, Sept. 8 – 12, 2013.

PRINT 13 targets a diverse spectrum of attendees from the commercial, transactional, converting and package printing, publishing, mailing, in-plant, photo imaging and marketing industries.

The trade show – which runs once every four years and is a day longer than Graph Expo – presents the latest graphic communications technologies in live equipment demonstrations across the show floor and education on the most in-demand products and newest profit-making opportunities.

In total, PRINT 13 offers more than 70 educational sessions and 60+ co-located events for attendees across 12 key market segments. And the 2013 theme is "Innovate, Integrate, Communicate.”

InfoTrends Jim-HamiltonJim Hamilton, group director at InfoTrends, blogged, “The show used to be massive. It has contracted and now is about the size of a Graph Expo from the days of yore. In light of the sad decline of IPEX (March 24th to 29th, 2014, London), which virtually all of the possible major exhibitors are avoiding, all eyes will be on PRINT 13 this year as a test of the level that the industry will support a large printing trade show.”

According to Hamilton, early signs of PRINT 13 are positive: “Last year the Graphic Arts Show Company (the PRINT 13 organizer) noted that attendance at Graph Expo was up from 2011 to 2012. (Graph Expo Attendance Up Compared to 2011) And though some big names will not be there (Heidelberg, Kodak and Screen), otherwise the show floor is well represented and a number of early announcements indicate that this could be an exciting event.”

Hamilton said that the biggest question, which won’t be answered until the show ends, is whether attendance will be strong. “Attendance is a driving factor in an era of shrinking marketing budgets and more attractive alternatives to win potential buyers. Particularly for more expensive purchases, system vendors repeatedly say that they know where the large buyers are and they often prefer to fly them in to demo centers where they can wine and dine them while getting their focused attention. End user events, such as Dscoop (the HP Graphic Arts Users cooperative), EFI’s Connect, and Kodak’s GUA (Graphic Users’ Association) are also seeing increasing levels of investment.”

And while Hamilton believes the lack of big names at IPEX will undermine that show in 2014, a few missing big names at PRINT 13 “is not a big problem and is not symptomatic of other issues,” he said. “Heidelberg’s absence at PRINT 13 follows similar withdrawals at Graph Expo in 2008 and 2010 and did not come as a huge surprise. Similarly, Kodak, which just this week announced its emergence from Chapter 11, had reasons for avoiding a 2013 investment in this show, though it will have a small meeting space on the show floor.”

In his blog, Hamilton pointed out the top exhibitors at PRINT 13.

PRINT 13 Top Exhibitors (based on the square footage of their booth) by Rank/Company:

1 Xerox

2 Canon

3 (tie) Fujifilm

3 (tie) Konica Minolta

5 (tie) Agfa

5 (tie) HP

7 (tie) Standard Finishing

7 (tie) Ricoh

9 EFI

10 Komori

Click here to see Hamilton’s entire preliminary thoughts about PRINT 13 >>>.

On the Floor
Headlining the attractions at this year's PRINT 13 is a host of new and "reimagined" show floor features. Of note is Deliver - The NEW Mailing & Fulfillment Center, still the world's largest mailing show, now sponsored by the ultimate industry expert-the United States Postal Service. This is a one-stop resource for all the latest equipment, software and supplies, research, market data, best practices and solutions for bridging print with marketing. Also featured here is the Deliver ROI Theater sponsored by the USPS and the Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) [formerly MFSA] and, for one-on-one personalized guidance and advice, the "Ask the Mailing Expert" sponsored by AMSP.

Hugely popular and highly-trafficked, The Marketing Pavilion sponsored by Chicago American Marketing Association (CAMA) returns as the "how-to" hub for marketing education, resources, and networking exploring all the latest marketing and graphic communication tools and technologies. Inside the pavilion, The Marketing Theater, sponsored by Canvas Magazine, offers a robust daily schedule of 30-minute hot-topic learning sessions.

Cornerstone pavilions of the show are the Prepress/Software: Workflow & Design section-offering the hottest new software and opportunities to test-drive the very latest equipment, and the huge Press/Finishing section-featuring cutting-edge innovations in digital, inkjet, hybrid, flexo and offset print technologies, as well as the complete array of binding and finishing equipment and supplies.

Returning is The In-Plant Place, a dedicated networking hub sponsored by the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) and exclusively for In-Plant pros from every industry segment-Government, Corporate and Education-to come meet, unwind, learn, share, and more.

GREENspace is also back for PRINT 13 and offers attendees the opportunity to discover what it means to "go green". This single source show floor section is devoted to eco-friendly products, services, and education focused on sustainability. The pavilion, which includes an "Ask the Expert" station, is sponsored by Graphic Design USA.

Attendees wanting to explore emerging technologies will have that opportunity at Future Print where they will be able to discover the hottest new and emerging print technologies, featuring: RFID, Printed Electronics, and 3-D printing, and witness the actual production of printed electronics here. The pavilion and learning theater, dubbed the "Experiential Lab," are both sponsored by FlexTech Alliance.

Attendees will also be able to participate in the pavilion's all new lineup of learning and networking activities inside The Printerverse. Sponsored by PrintMediaCentr this is a highly interactive 'home base' to meet, tweet, learn, share, interact, and explore the latest innovations and applications that are driving our industry forward in exciting new directions.

Expanding the show floor attractions and responding to the needs of a key industry segment is the co-located CPP EXPO which offers attendees unprecedented access to the world of package printing and converting.

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For more information about PRINT 13, visit >>>.

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